As service providers, it’s very common to hear potential clients say, “But I got a much cheaper quote for the same service!”, when their goal is to simply find the cheapest offer.
There are so many factors behind the price of a product or a service, but sometimes all of us forget that. We might remember it when it comes to certain products, such as a nice dress by a famous designer and made of an amazing and incredibly-soft material compared to a low-quality supermarket equivalent or maybe when it comes to buying an expensive luxury and very safe car versus the most affordable and not-so-reliable model on the market. Yet, we may forget it when we get a few quotes of different services, for example to get our house refurbished, the living room painted, our hair cut or our company’s website translated into different languages.
I always try to put myself in the shoes of the clients, both the ones that see eye to eye with me and end up working with my company, and the ones that have different priorities than mines. I myself am the second kind of client in some situations when I actually don’t care much about what I am buying, so I never point fingers, because I respect everybody’s situation and priorities. As I always say, I can’t be everybody’s service provider and not everyone is my type of client, which is perfectly fine.
Yesterday I acted as my ideal client would with my company. I asked my car dealer to change my car’s tyres and to check a possible issue with the coolant.
In this case, since I had experienced a similar problem a couple of years ago and had a mechanic fix it, my partner asked his opinion as well and spontaneously got a second quote from him. Despite the fact that this was about 50% of what the official service was going to charge me, I opted for the the latter.
Why would I do that if I got a much cheaper quote for the same service?! That’s true, but again there are so many factors behind each price. Here are some examples.
With the official service:
- a professional secretary immediately puts me in contact with the right expert;
- after having a look at the car, he sends me very quickly a link via e-mail and SMS with a formal quote and a video in which he shows to me exactly where the problem lies and goes through the details of the quote so that I know every aspect behind it. I don’t need to take their word for granted. In the quote they specify even the number of screws they are charging me;
- only official parts are used and therefore they are covered by a reliable guarantee;
- I know there is nobody else in the area who could be more familiar with my type of car, which translates into money well spent;
- my taxy back and for is paid by them;
- I’m offered a coffee in a very nice lounge while waiting (not much);
- my invoice is ready in the blink of an eye;
- my car is given back to me clean and shiny (inside and outside);
- should there be any problem afterwards, the company’s headquarters answer for it (I experienced it myself in the past in a case where it wasn’t directly related to the service done: they behaved superbly. Without entering into details, I can say a local mechanic neither could nor would have done the same);
- if I have an issue on the road (e.g. a flat tyre or similar), I could call the official assistance instead of my insurance for free just because I am a client;
- peace of mind.
With the mechanic I know:
- I needed to ask a friend or relative for a ride or pay myself for a taxi back and forth;
- it took long to get a quote and I often had to call several times to remind him of having a look at my car;
- the quote would be sent via WhatsApp without any specific details;
- I guess official parts wouldn’t be used if there are cheaper alternatives;
- I had to ask several times when my car would be ready and put preassure on him or it would have taken forever;
- when I got there, I had to wait pretty long without any place to sit or being offered anything to drink;
- my invoice would take ages to be sent to me correctly;
- my car was at least as dirty as before when I got the keys back;
- if there were some issues afterwards (not directly related to the service done in that occasion), I needed to prepare my wallet again.
Yes, the official car dealer’s quote was indeed much more expensive, but the service is worth far more than the mechanic’s considering all the above.
So next time we get an expensive quote, especially if we have another one to compare it with, we shouldn’t forget what lies behind the price. A much more expensive service will surely include so much more than a low-cost one, among which reliability, professionalism, and peace of mind.